After spending weeks meeting with practically every producer in the country, Gary Hamilton and Victor Syrmis have at last announced what must be the worst kept secret in the Australian film industry: the pair are establishing a new Sydney-based sales agency and production company called Arclight Films.
This means that at Cannes, Hamilton will go head to head with his old boss, Beyond International managing director Mikael Borglund, who has yet to name a new general manager for Beyond Films following Hamilton's departure after 12 years and over 150 films.
For the last few years Beyond has been the only consistently active player in Australia. Arclight plans to represent up to seven English language titles per year from independents across the world, and also play a major role in continuing the development of the burgeoning Australian production industry.
Arclight goes to Cannes with five films. The world premieres are director Mike Hurst's action comedy Baby Juice Express, Jeremy Wooding's Bollywood Queen, described as West Side Story goes East, and the Australian sci-fi action picture Subterano. The latter, which had a bumpy life through its production, is being represented in conjunction with Becker Entertainment.
The two market premieres are director Bertha Bay-Sa Pan's drama Face, which was in official selection at Sundance, and Paul Sarossy's murder thriller Mr In-Between, which earned several awards at Tokyo.
From this line up it appears that the UK's Spice Factory, with three films represented, has followed Hamilton out of Beyond.